Do you have a CRM system or a SYSTEM for CRM That Gets You More Clients?

By | Category: CRM, Lead Story, Marketing

CRM Photo

One of the questions I ask new clients is,” How is your CRM?” There are three responses I usually get:

  1. What is that?
  2. I use XYZ software.
  3. We follow-up with prospects once or twice and send Christmas cards or gifts.

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management or client relationship management, as I like to call it. There are many different software systems that you can use: Salesforce, ACT, Infusionsoft. But just like anything, they only work if you use it and use it correctly.

Having a good CRM Software System is important, but it is even more important to have a system for CRM in your company. It builds your like, know and trust factor with your clients or prospects and keeps you Top of Mind when they need to purchase something.

Your system should include a mixture of offers, resources with things of value for them and fun stuff that they will remember.

So what do you do once you’ve installed the software? Here are 5 steps to having a successful system for CRM.

1. Commit to USING IT! Make it a company-wide policy and track it!

2. Prioritize/segment your lists – according to prospects/clients/stage in sales process – how ‘hot’ the lead is, etc.

3. Create email templates that will be used regularly:
Some ideas:
• welcome letter,
• thank you letters,
• referral letters,
• letters to follow up with clients whose credit card’s have expired
* Bonus points (and profits) if you create a system to update the card BEFORE it expires!)

4. Design your system for CRM. Just like you should have a marketing calendar, you should be using a calendar to plan your CRM activities each month.
Some ideas to get you started:
• Birthday cards/gifts
• Thanksgiving gifts for clients
• Seasonal fun items like BBQ stuff in the summer
• Articles/faxes on topics of interest.

5. Each time you implement a new marketing tactic or special promotion, design the CRM follow-up campaign to get the highest ROI from your marketing.
Client example: One of my clients had a trade-show so we created a series of emails, phone calls and letters for him to use with the leads generated from the tradeshow. He had the most sales he ever had from trade show leads in the midst of the recession.

*To optimize your results, like he did, make sure to create steps for a prospect saying yes/no at each stage of the sales process so you never drop the ball with the prospect.

Set a date and get started. Even if you have to start out with baby steps on one project like my client with the tradeshow did, it will start to show results and you can continue optimizing your system for CRM each month as new events and holidays come around.

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3 comments
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  1. Stacy, one major point when using a CRM software, is that everything is done because of the client, and that totally changes the mindset. Why we do tasks in our business? not because i want to or have to, it’s because it will help the client ant that will help improve the relationship with the client. any business that works from the point of view of “How can i help my client today” will stand out in the crowd, just like Zappos, and a CRM program will just help you do it.

    I personally like a small simple online CRM program Highrise http://highrisehq.com
    made by the 37signal people. Where you can track leads, contacts, deals and cases.
    Below is here is one article that really helped me get the most out of your CRM.

    How to mange your whole business with Highrise. http://productblog.37signals.com/products/2010/05/how-eric-miller-uses-highrise-to-organize-his-design-business-and-the-the-graphic-design-section-on-.html

    I cerated a google doc summarizing the info from this Article, how i would use Highrise. It might help your readers and small business owners.
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1IvN2ujCDOEMM8szoKzmJ-9_2Ixjg9TUYbQnif0Ma4_c

    Thanks again Stacey for reminding us to use CRM, going back to Highrise.

  2. HI CK,

    So true, many people forget the client in CRM and forget to focus on communicating WITH them and adding value for them.

    Zappos is a huge inspiration. I met Tony Hsieh at Yanik Silver’s event ( actually met him in the elevator while wearing my slippers when I ran out to the ice machine) and at a Tony Robbins event. He is has built an amazing company and I love how it focuses on the customer and happiness!

    Thanks for sharing your insights on Highrise. I actually had signed up with them and then decided on Infusionsoft based on the ability to merge it with my shopping cart and autoresponders and being able to do other methods of communication. I do use Basecamp and I am a big fan of the clean simple software it is easy to use with my team who are spread across the globe.

    Stacey

  3. Stacey, yes I Know nothing is as good as Infusionsoft, but for smaller people that still cannot afford Infusionsoft. Highrise can have auto-responders and email newsletters and postcards through Mail-Chimp. Lots of “Smaller” consultants work with this solution Highrise + Mailchimp and it should work nicely together.
    Check out this post of how to go about it.
    http://answers.37signals.com/highrise/306-i-want-to-interfact-to-mailchimp-with-highrise-is-there-an-easy-way-to-do-this

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